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Monday, December 01, 2003 :::

Foot in Mouth Awards
Awarded by the Plain English Campaign in London annually:

The 2003 winner is United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for comments in a press briefing: 'Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns the ones we don't know we don't know.'

And here are a few previous winners:

2002: Actor Richard Gere who said: 'I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I'd think 'No, actually I am a giraffe.''

2001: Artist Tracey Emin, who explained 'When it comes to words I have a uniqueness that I find almost impossible in terms of art - and it's my words that actually make my art quite unique.'

2000: Hollywood star Alicia Silverstone for her comments quoted in the Sunday Telegraph. 'I think that [the film] 'Clueless' was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness.'

1999: Former England manager Glenn Hoddle. When asked by Trevor McDonald to explain his controversial comments on people with disabilities, he said: 'I do not believe that. At this moment in time, if that changes in years to come I don't know, but what happens here today and changes as we go along that is part of life's learning and part of your inner beliefs. But at this moment in time I did not say them things and at the end of the day I want to put that on record because it has hurt people.'

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